Donations and Town Hall

Category : General

Song Service Donations

With no Song Service’s currently scheduled, the board requests that you consider donations to the Newark Fresh Air Fund and Saint Peter’s Orphanage.  Checks can be made out to ELC or the individual organization and mailed to the Treasurer (Estling Lake Corporation, PO Box 281, Denville, NJ 07834).  Contributions will be split evenly between the two organizations.  Alternatively, you can donate via and where credit cards are accepted.  Each has a “donations” tab and in each case you can either “leave a comment” or enter in “special instructions” your association with Estling Lake.  Last summer we donated over $5,000 from our Song Service collections.

I recently spoke with the Executive Directors of the two charities.  Both are experiencing a drop off in contributions.

Donna Johnson-Thompson attended Song Service a few years ago to recognize Estling’s 100-year history of contributing to the Newark Fresh Air Fund.  In our call she specifically spoke of the funding needs of a camp that she manages for children with physical disabilities.  The camp will open in July abiding by the Covid19 regulations.  It is an expensive program to run.  100% of all donations go to this and other programs for children.

Kelly McNamara, Executive Director of St Peters Orphanage was quite emotional when I informed her that the Estling Lake community would continue to contribute to St Peters despite no scheduled Song Services. While her basic needs are largely funded via governmental programs, all of our contributions are for special activities for St Peters residents.

Town Hall

We will hold a ZOOM-based town hall meeting Wednesday, July 1st.  The primary agenda item is a presentation from the By Laws Committee of recommended changes to our governing documents.  As this meeting is 2 days following our next board meeting and only a week following the opening of the beach, I’m certain that the “beach” will also be a topic discussed.  Details to follow.

Road Repairs Update

Category : General

The good news, work has begun and the sections that have been completed look good. The bad news, the contractor was unable to finish and it won’t be completed until Monday. Areas that are in process have cones but there are a couple of world class bumps. Please drive slow and be careful.


Recycling Reminder

Category : General

For those residents that are dropping off recyclable materials at the Athletic Field dumpster, please remember to follow the overall guidelines set by Morris County.  While our collection is single stream (you can mix cardboard, paper, plastic, metal, and glass), there are still many items that are prohibited.  Most notably, no plastic bags, no garbage bags, and no pizza boxes.  You can transport your recycling materials in a plastic bag, but then you must empty the bag and throw it away in the trash.  Review the following graphic to see what is acceptable for recycling:

Community Update for June 2020

Category : General

Feeling most fortunate to be at Estling right now.  Having to deal with all the Covid19 restrictions, it is nice to be doing so here.  Those of us now “in residence” spend a good deal of time outdoors walking, biking and just sitting on the beach, always keeping a respectful distance from others.  And conversations when we interact with others seem to last a little bit longer.  This will be a different summer for sure, but it’s a positive change from being in Florida.

Activities at Estling this summer will be driven primarily by the executive orders from governor Murphy.  Such orders are law and the ELC board has the fiduciary duty to follow the law.  There are nearly 50 Covid19 related executive orders to date (  The Executive Orders which most directly impact Estling are EO #143 dealing with opening of our beach, EO #149 covering outdoor sports, including Hub Lakes sports, and EO #152 pertaining to indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Following EO #143, we submitted our plan to open the beach (  The Denville public health department will inspect the beach this week in anticipation of opening the beach Saturday.  As local lake beaches open, I have been in regular contact with Indian Lake, Rock Ridge Lake, Arrowhead Lake and Cedar Lake.  The biggest concern that we all have is the 6’ minimum social distancing requirement.  This will be difficult but for our beach to remain open we need to make this work.

EO #152 gives us the ability to have indoor organized gatherings of up to 50 people subject to a list of other requirements like all participants need to wear face masks, and all objects need regular sanitizing.  So, for now the Community House will remain closed.

There will be a ZOOM-based townhall meeting July 1st.  The major agenda item is a report from the Bylaws Committee, as reviewed with the Board, of nine (9) recommended changes to our governing documents.  There will also be time for questions about summer at Estling.  Who knows, by then there might be other Executive Orders that provide additional flexibility.

Additional details concerning the townhall meeting to follow.

I intend to provide regular updates throughout the summer.

– Rick

Tennis Court And Recycling News for 6/10/2020

Category : General

Tennis Court Update

This past week, the Board approved the recommendation from the Athletic Field Committee to hire Steen Associates to repair and resurface the tennis court.  It has taken a lot of discussion and research to arrive at this decision and I appreciate the help and patience of the entire community over the last several years.  We are tentatively scheduled to have the work start at the beginning of July and it will take 7 – 10 days to complete (weather permitting).  Normally this type of work would be scheduled during the off season, but the Committee and Board felt that given the unusual challenges we have all faced this year, it would be best to complete the project as soon as possible.  As we get closer to the start date, I will keep all of you informed of the schedule and any associated court/field closures.

Recycling Update

After reviewing several quotes from garbage/recycling providers in the area, the Board has approved expanding our existing contract with Tassielli Disposal to handle recycling as well.  A dumpster has been delivered to the parking area of the Athletic Field for residents to drop off their recyclable materials.  This is a single stream collection bin so you can mix your plastics, metals, glass, paper, and cardboard – no need to separate materials.  You should continue to use the Denville Recycling Depot to drop off specialty items such as vehicle batteries, automotive fluids, consumer electronics, and tires.  The Depot is back to its normal operating hours:  Monday – Friday – 7:00 AM to 2:30 PM, Saturdays – 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and Sundays – 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Updates on Mail and Recycling

Category : General

US Mail Delivery – Under normal circumstances, our mail would be delivered to individual mailboxes throughout the summer.  However, due to the current COVID19 situation, mail delivery will be centralized for this year.  Dot has setup individual folders for each camp in the brown storage box in front of the Athletic Field.  Your mail will be sorted into those file folders and you must come to the Athletic Field to retrieve your items, both packages as well as letters.  US Mail will not be delivered to your normal camp mailbox, you will have to claim it from the central location.  Also, please leave the actual file folder in the storage box when you pick up your mail.

Hazardous Materials – Morris County will be hosting two collection days for hazardous materials (such as automotive fluids, pesticides, and other chemicals) in Parsippany on June 13th and June 28th.  More details can be found here:

Recycling – You can drop off your recycling items at the town facility located at 140 Morris Avenue, Thursdays and Fridays – 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, or Saturdays – 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon.  It’s also important to note that your recycling materials must be separated into two containers, cardboard/paper and glass/metal/plastic.  In addition to typical materials, the recycling center accepts many other items.  See the chart below for details.

Community Update for 5/21/2020

Category : Open/Close

The Board met Monday evening to discuss summer at Estling in these Covid-19 times.  In arriving at our conclusions, we primarily relied on the executive orders from the governor, especially the May 14th executive order concerning the opening on Memorial Day of NJ beaches and lakes.  We also consulted with a handful of neighboring lakes and local public health officials. Restrictions are beginning to be lifted but our current policies need to be based on what exists now.  Hopefully these can be relaxed in the weeks ahead.

We plan to open our beach the weekend of June 20th, the first day that we will have lifeguards on duty.  However, due to the restrictions discussed below and continued restrictions on social gatherings, we are cancelling work weekend.  Executive Order #143, the governor’s order concerning the opening of beaches and lakes, sets forth very specific restrictions.  Executive orders have the legal force of law and must be obeyed and adhered to.
The key provisions that affect us include the closure/non-use of the following:

•    The Community House
•    Playground equipment, and
•    Water “toys” that may be used by others, including kick boards and noodles

Opening of the beach will require that family units remain six feet apart on the beach.  For purposes of this restriction a family unit could be as large as ten people  or as small as a single person. This will prove to be a difficult provision for us and other local lakes.  Some lakes will restrict admission.  Others are considering a “sign-up” sheet and limiting time on the beach. To deal with potential overcrowding, Estling will restrict the beach to Estling families only – that is, no guests allowed at this time.  Additional restrictions may be needed.

We are required to develop and implement beach operational plans and modified lifeguard training.  We are also required to block access to all benches.  Importantly, we are instructed to enforce impermissible pubic gathering as previously described in Executive Order #107.

To open the beach we are required by the health department to open our duplex, implementing a frequent cleaning protocol.  The board has decided to hire an outside firm to perform this cleaning daily. We will also ask members using the restrooms to wipe down surfaces with CDC approved products.  Such products will be supplied by the corporation.

Consistent with, but not specifically addressed by Executive Order # 143, there will be no floats, no diving boards or ladders at the diving dock, no box of toys behind the soda house, and no box to jump off.  The perimeter ropes will define the swimming area but the diving dock area will not be part of the swimming area this year as the rope on the left will be on the soda house side of the diving dock.  The CDC recommendation regarding use of masks in outdoor settings continues to evolve.  Everyone is strongly encouraged by the governor and the health department to wear face coverings when present on the beach as social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

The soda house may be opened.  The Ladies Club will make this decision although the board will offer recommendations here.

Gatherings of individuals and social events were cancelled by executive order.  Therefore, at this time we do not anticipate holding activities such as land events, water events, song service, community dinners, special programs, etc.  Board meetings will be Zoom-based as will the town-hall meeting set for July 1st.

Scott S. has addressed use of the athletic field.

Bob R. as the Director responsible for the beach will ask for volunteers to assist as needed to open the beach.  Scott as the director responsible for the athletic field and Kim N. as the director responsible for the community house and duplex will do likewise.

We do not intend to hire janitors or mail delivery persons for the summer.  Mail will continue to be delivered to the box by the tennis court where it will be sorted and placed in accordion folders that will be left in the big plastic box.  Adults wearing gloves will do the sorting.  Likewise, adults wearing gloves will handle garbage collection at the beach.

The executive orders and recommendations, upon which much of the above is based, are fluid.  As these change the board will meet to discuss and evaluate the changing circumstances.

Stay safe.

Usage of tennis court

Category : General

I have some good news to share with the community today.  The Governor of NJ signed Executive Order 147 which allows tennis courts to reopen as of this weekend 5/23/2020.  I will clear the court of any debris and install the net this weekend so that the community can use the tennis court under the following rules:

  • Singles Only.  No doubles.
  • No spectators.
  • Players must practice social distancing by keeping a minimum of six feet apart from other players to ensure you and your fellow players are in a safe exercise environment.
  • The bleachers/benches are to remain closed as per NJ Gov EO.  Bring your own chair if needed.
  • Bring your own water/drinks as the water fountain will remain closed.
  • Use the bathroom before arriving at the courts.  There will not be a portable restroom at the athletic field.
  • All other courts/activities (volleyball, basketball, horseshoes, baseball/softball, etc) remain closed at this time.

Failure to follow these rules may result in closure of the court.

Here are some additional guidelines published by the USTA to minimize the risk of COVID19 transmission.  Please do your best to follow these while playing tennis:

  • Arrange to play only with family members or others who live in your household or with individuals who are considered to be low risk.
  • Do not play if any of you:
    • Are exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus: mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing, or other symptoms identified by the CDC.
    • Have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
    • Are a vulnerable individual who is an elderly individual and/or an individual with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy
  • Wash your hands with a disinfectant soap and water (for 20 seconds or longer) before going to the court.
  • Clean and wipe down your equipment, including racquets and water bottles. Do not share racquets or any other equipment such as wristbands, grips, hats and towels.
  • Use new balls and a new grip, if possible.
  • Avoid touching court gates, fences, benches, etc. if you can.
  • Avoid touching your face after handling a ball, racquet or other equipment. Wash your hands promptly if you have touched your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid sharing food, drinks or towels.
  • Use your racquet/foot to pick up balls and hit them to your opponent. Avoid using your hands to pick up the balls.
  • Stay on your side of court. Avoid changing ends of the court.
  • Remain apart from other players when taking a break.  
  • Use a hand sanitizer after coming off the court. Wash your hands thoroughly when you return home.
  • No extra-curricular or social activity should take place. No congregation after playing.
  • All players should leave the facility immediately after play.
  • Although unlikely, it’s possible that a tennis ball can transmit the COVID-19 virus, as virtually any hard surface can transmit the disease. So here is an extra precaution you can take to keep safe when playing tennis:
    • Open two cans of tennis balls that do not share the same number on the ball.
    • Take one set of numbered balls, and have your playing partner take a set of balls from the other can.
    • Proceed with play, making sure to pick up your set of numbered balls only. Should a ball with the other number wind up on your side of the court, do not touch the ball with your hands. Use your racquet head or feet to advance the ball to the other side of the court.

On a related note, the Athletic Field Committee is actively working with contractors to schedule a time for the court to be repaired and resurfaced.  The exact timing is not know yet but we will keep everyone informed as decisions are made.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during these challenging times.

No Wipes Down the Pipes!

Category : Uncategorized

For those that have moved up to the lake already or those coming up soon, please remember that the only items you can flush are toilet paper and human waste.  That means no wipes, tissues, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, or deceased pets.  There was a significant clog in our sewer line this week and it took several experts to get it cleared.  Our older plumbing infrastructure is not capable of handling these other materials.  Even the “flushable” wipes are not appropriate to dispose of in the toilet.  These products get caught in the joints/elbows of our sewer lines and do not break down.  Thank you for your cooperation and stay safe!

Recycling Update

Category : Uncategorized

For those that have moved into camp already, you may have noticed that recycling has not been picked up consistently.  I spoke with the town today and we are working through the issue, but it may take a few weeks to get things back on schedule.  For now, do not put out recycling on Tuesday night.  Also note that the Recycling Center in town is closed temporarily for dropoff but they are trying to reopen it in the next few weeks.  Once we have the issue corrected and the schedule confirmed, I will send out instructions.  Hang tight, stay safe, and I’ll let you know when things are back on track.